What makes you think you’ve got the faintest idea what’s going on in this world?

Lippmann
“They started for the Indies and found America. They diagnosed evil and hanged old women. They thought they could grow rich by always selling and never buying. A caliph, obeying what he conceived to be the Will of Allah, burned the library at Alexandria.” Lippmann, 1922

All students of history have to ask themselves, to what extent is it possible to know the past?

Before we can answer that question, we have to think about some others: to what extent is it even possible to know the present? We always assume that it is the past that is uncertain, while the present is knowable – after all, it’s right there in front of you. But is it really the other way round?

Continue reading “What makes you think you’ve got the faintest idea what’s going on in this world?”